Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nell Mohney on Gratitude


Folks in Chattanooga are blessed in many ways, and one of them is the weekly column that Mrs. Nell Mohney writes.  Every Saturday, this precious lady (and I don’t use that term much) writes a reflection on spirituality for the local paper (we only have one now, which in itself is a long story, involving a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court).  She was a pastor’s wife for many years and from what I understand, taught (and perhaps still teaches) a Sunday School class at First Centenary Methodist. 

Yesterday she wrote on gratitude, and this is an excerpt.

“’Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can change people’s lives,’ writes Robert Emmons in his book Thanks!  How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.  Emmons, a psychology professor at University of California-Dais, and Michael McCullough, a psychology professor at the University of Miami, have gathered a large body of scientific evidence on the nature of gratitude and its potential consequences for human health and well-being.

Among other things, they give characteristics of grateful people.   Among those are:  Grateful people have a wide circle of friends in different age and socioeconomic groups; they are optimistic; they look for the god even in bad situations; they don’t whine and complain; they keep a gratitude journal (I call mine a joy box . . .); they laugh easily; they relight the flame of others who are discouraged; and they learn to reframe a situation so that it’s see from a different perspective.”

In a previous post I wrote about courage being necessary to practice all virtue.  However, I would even put gratitude higher on the scale of fundamental character properties.

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